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Adventures Across the Starways - 15

Adventures Across the Starways - 15

I'm going to treat you like a dog that bit me, Victor.

Chapter 15

by Kari and Rascal

Jason holds up a hand. "We're not going anywhere near him until we get word back from the crew about the search. Donny's going over Angel with a fine-toothed comb and we're going to sit tight until he reports to us. Zlanta's got Victor in the airlock right now. One push on the control and he goes for a very long walk with no oxygen. She's not talking to him or letting him talk. Nice when you can turn the volume off on the intercom." Jason grins coldly.

"As for you, you are going to my quarters and taking a nap. I will be on the bridge, and if anything happens I will get you immediately, clear?" He looked at her, his face somber. "You are hurt, you are not used to violence as a solution, and I'm not going to risk losing you. Understood?"

“But...but...” Sive looked at Jason, sighed, and then gave in. “OK, you're the captain after all.” Just as she is about to leave she glanced back frowning, “Do you always get your way?” Without waiting for an answer she continued on her way thinking, “I hate to admit it but I could use a little rest, the drugs must be affecting me.”

As she walked down the corridor, Sive wondered if she could get away with having a quick peek at Victor in the airlock. But reconsidering, she thought, “If Jason found out I didn't go straight to his quarters, he would probably skin me alive, I can see he likes to be in charge, but we shall see about that.” She couldn't help chuckling to herself.

Arriving at Jason's quarters, Sive entered and closed the hatch behind her. This was one place she could relax and feel safe. Sighing, she walked over to the small mirror on the wall and looked at her reflection. Her face looked pale and her neck was somewhat red, but the swelling was under control, thanks to the injection Jason had given her. Looking at his bed, she all of a sudden felt a great need to sleep. Shedding her tight fitting clothes as she walked , she undid her dark brown hair, letting it fall loosely down her back. As Sive slipped under the sheets she thought of her life only five years ago. How she had looked so different then compared to now. As she drifted off to sleep her mind was still focused on her real image.

Her body started to shimmer and change, her eyes became grey, her hair turned a rich auburn, skin lightened up and had numerous freckles. Her facial features changed as well. Within moments Sive had disappeared and Alayna lay in Jason's bed.

Jason watched as Sive left, knowing she needed the rest. He also wanted her to one side in case they found something... tricky. She had enough on her plate. Worrying about something she couldn't change wouldn't help. Jason clicked the intercom. "Donny, anything yet?"

"No, sir. I'm just going back through Engineering now. No sign of a transmitter or an explosive package. Zlanta still has our guest in the airlock. Want me to ask him?"

"I'll do that. Let me know when you've been over the whole ship. Captain out." Jason rose and walked down to the airlock. Zlanta stood there with a riot gun, just in case. In the box-like lock Jason could see Victor slumped against the far wall, there not being enough room to truly lie down. Jason flicked the intercom button for the airlock.

"Alright, Victor. We're searching the ship as you and I talk. You're in a spot where any transmission you might send is going to be hard to send, either into the ship or out into space, the airlock is shielded from transmissions. You've lost a fair bit of blood, but we have an actual doctor aboard, as you seem to know. So, tell me how this was supposed to be so easy for you. Walk me through your plan and we'll get you patched up. We'll drop you on the next planet just like your ticket says... though it won't quite be where that ticket says. Or you can be stubborn. In which case I crack the airlock open.”

Victor slowly pulled himself to standing, “I don't think you will, Captain, I think you're too soft-hearted and law abiding to kill me.”

Jason snorted retorting, “You're betting your life on it, but maybe I won't have to. If I crack the outer door just a little do you know what will happen? Let me tell you. As the pressure goes down one of the first things is that your eyes will turn bloodshot and then slowly start to burst. So will your ear drums unless you can equalize the pressure by swallowing very fast. Then the internal pressure in your body will start pushing your organs out. If you think you've puked from a hangover wait until your lungs start coming up. Would you like me to tell you what will happen at your other end? It's all very painful, but I'll close the doors and replace the air when you start talking, if you can. Tell me the plan, Victor.” He put his hand on the airlock control.

Victor, looking out the viewing port, grimacing in pain. “OK, I see no harm in telling you what I know. I was contacted about a year ago, it was anonymous, my instructions were always anonymous.” He shook his head slightly before continuing, “The instructions were to find the girl, and I would be so handsomely paid that I would never have to work again. All I was told was that she was a master of disguise and was on the run. The few details I was given was that she was a research scientist that had stolen some data that didn't belong to her. Then I got her physical description and a photo.” He scowled, “And let me tell you, she is a master of disguise, I've never seen anything like it.”

He shifted his position to get more comfortable. “I'm the best in my field, a tracker by profession. I've been after her for the past couple years. You must know that she's quite an unusual girl. I've never come across someone that could evade me for so long. I still haven't figured out how she does it.” He shook his head again, “Just when I think I have her, she would simply disappear and I'd have to start all over again. But she always left enough small clues for me to follow. But I am very good at tracking, so it was only a matter of time before I caught her. Then all I would have to do was contact my employers and they would come, pick her up quickly and quietly, put the credits in my account, and that would be it.”

He tried to straighten up but the pain and loss of blood was taking its toll, he slumped down again. Closing his eyes for a few seconds, he took a deep breath, “As for threatening everyone on board, there is no explosive device on the ship, I just said that to get her to cooperate with me.” Looking Jason in the eyes he asked, "So what do you think you're going to do with me now?”

Jason looked at him, then nodded. "I'm going to treat you like a dog that bit me, Victor. Sive's going to patch you up, then you're getting locked in the airlock again. We make landfall in about 18 hours. Once we're ready to lift, we'll dump you off somewhere remote enough that it'll take a day or two to hike out. Unless you decide to fight us. I'm just as happy to space you, and have my log show that you attacked one of my crew and we had to space you to protect the ship. So, your choice actually. Easy or hard, how are you going to go?"

Defeat was not on Victor's face. He looked at Jason through the small viewing port with a smirk, “Again, I say that I don't think so, Captain.” He reached into his shirt and pulled out what looked like a heavy string. In his other hand he held a tiny torch which he lit. “I still hold the high card. Your crew is too honest, when they searched me for weapons they didn't take my money belt. Ah, but it's not a money belt, it's an explosive belt. I've enough Arvam 85 in this belt to blow this ship apart. I think that you'll open this door, fix me up, and do what I say from now on. On the way back to Lacuna I think that your pretty little crew member can entertain me until I turn her over to my employers. At this point I have nothing to lose. Come on, what do you say, Captain?”

Jason still had his hand on the airlock control. As Victor made his demands he slowly turned it ninety degrees to the right to emergency open. He pushed his face close to the window, looked Victor in the eyes, and murmured, “I say... goodbye, Victor,” and pushed the airlock door control.

The outer doors snapped open as Victor looked surprised momentarily, but his expression quickly turned to terror as his torch went out from lack of oxygen and he was sucked from the lock into space along with the air. The last thing seen was the faint glow from the wick on his torch.

When the intercom came on calling her name, Sive opened her eyes, instantly alert from years of being on guard. Sitting up in Jason's bed a lock of her hair fell forward. She picked it up noticing it was the wrong color, too red. Jumping up, Sive ran to the little mirror. When she looked at her face, Alayna looked back at her. “Oh gods, the drugs must have done a number on my system to have reverted me to my normal state. Never mind now, I'll have to figure it out later.” Jason needed her.

Searching about for her clothes, she saw them laying on the floor next to the bed. While throwing them on she concentrated on becoming Sive again. She was approaching the airlock while putting her hair up when she saw Jason waiting for her.

She looked into the lock and asked, “Where's Victor? Is he in his cabin? Or did someone else patch him up?”

Jason stammered, “Uh, no, the bomb was on him all the time and he tried to extort things his way. I don't think you have to worry about him anymore.”

“Oh Jason, I know you wouldn't have done it if you didn't have to, but I can't feel any remorse about him, he was a deadly snake. Do you think that with him gone and the pendant taken care of that I'm free?”

"That's the question, isn't it? He, uh, left before he answered most of my questions. I'll put in the log that he attacked a crew member and died in the fire-fight. Very few questions then, and even the Unifiers wouldn't take exception to that.”

Jason resealed the airlock door. Turning to Sive, he smiled ruefully. "I think we should sleep on it. Care to join me?"

“Why yes thank you, I would like that very much, I don't want to be alone tonight,” she thoughtfully replied. While they walked down the corridor, she kept looking up at him, wondering, “Does he have less salt in his hair? Why don't I give him a little test?.” “Jason, what did you look like say...15 years ago?” She continued to watch him as he thought about what she had just asked him.

Sive saw Jason, shimmer slightly as he pictured himself back then. His hair became totally one color for a few brief moments. She nodded her head slowly, “Should I tell him, what I just saw or let him discover it for himself? No I think I will just monitor his progress.” Smiling to herself, “ At least I won't be one of a kind in this universe anymore!” Her smile slipped, “I hope he doesn't regret or resent what is happening to his body now. I guess only time will tell.”

When they came to Jason's quarters, she waited while he opened the hatch. Even though she had made herself at home not long ago, it was still his place. She felt a shimmer go through her body, looked down at her hand and noted that her skin had lightened up again. Frowning she realized the drugs still in her system were having a side affect. It would seem like her ability to keep control of her outer appearance was impaired, and connected to her emotions.

She chuckled to herself as she walked into the room, “I think this night might prove to be very interesting indeed. I hope Jason can handle it.”

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